2001-United States and Microsoft settle case

Bill_Gates_-_United_States_v._MicrosoftIn a U.S. antitrust law case, ultimately settled by the Department of Justice, where Microsoft Corporation was accused of becoming a monopoly and engaging in abusive practices contrary to the 1890 Sherman Antitrust Act. The plaintiffs alleged that Microsoft abused monopoly power on Intel-based personal computers in its handling of operating system and web browser sales. The issue central to the case was whether Microsoft was allowed to bundle its flagship Internet Explorer (IE) web browser software with its Microsoft Windows operating system. On November 2, 2001, the United States Department of Justice reached an agreement with Microsoft to settle the case. The proposed settlement required Microsoft to share its application programming interfaces with third-party companies and appoint a panel of three people who will have full access to Microsoft’s systems, records, and source code for five years in order to ensure compliance. However, the United States Department of Justice did not require Microsoft to change any of its code nor prevent Microsoft from tying other software with Windows in the future.


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